David Hockney: A Bigger Picture

Tim Barringer, Edith Devaney, Margaret Drabble, et al.. Abrams, $95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0280-8
A survey of landscapes by prolific painter David Hockney, this catalogue for an exhibition at the Royal Academy in London emphasizes more recent work by the artist, in which his focus returns to the countryside surrounding his native Yorkshire, England. While consistently referencing masters such as J.M.W. Turner and John Constable, as well as impressionists and post-impressionists such as Monet and Van Gogh, the artist never shies away from adopting new technologies as tools for creating his work. Throughout his decades-long career, Polaroid cameras, photocopiers and fax-machines as printing devices have given way to the possibilities of iPhone and iPad drawings. His formative "Pearblossom Highway, 11-18 April 1986 #1" is a photo-collage assembled out of numerous individual prints, a methodology echoed in some of his most recent works, such as the film, "May 11th 2011, Woldgate Woods, 1.45 pm," which was shot with nine digital cameras mounted on a Jeep. Following the trajectory of his sprawling and vibrant masterpiece, "Mulholland Drive: The Road to the Studio, 1980," the at times massive scale and playful use of color in the Yorkshire body of work represents Hockney's "reincarnation as a landscape painter in the grand tradition." Supplemented with numerous essays by art critics and Hockney himself, this is a mesmerizing volume of an established artist who continues to assert his dynamic relevancy. Color illus. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2012
Release date: 03/01/2012
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